Dr Mitchell Longstaff BSc(Hons)(Newcastle), PhD(Newcastle) Mitchell’s research interests are broadly in the areas of cognitive psychology and motor control. His primary area of research is how fine movements skills (such as handwriting and drawing, goal directed aiming) are controlled and the degradation of those skills due to normal ageing or neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Other areas of study are viewed in the context of movement skills (e.g. attention, perception, cognitive neuroscience, sensation and perception) as well as several more general areas of cognitive psychology (e.g. memory processes, human information processing, decision making and problem solving, mathematical models, time series and nonlinear dynamic analysis techniques). Mitchell has presented his research at international conferences and published in international peer reviewed journals. Mitchell was awarded his PhD by the University of Newcastle, Australia in 2000 where his primary research interest was in the general area of cognitive psychology. His dissertation involved the use of graphic tasks (e.g. handwriting, drawing) as a tool for understanding the performance and degradation of fine motor skills, as well as an assessment tool with applications to the study of neurological disorders with motor dysfunction. Population groups studied included people with Multiple Sclerosis and tremor. Mitchell completed his PhD under the supervision of Assoc. Prof R.A. Heath. Mitchell built on this foundation when he moved to Arizona State University (USA) in 2000 where he was offered a position as a postdoctoral research associate, working in the Motor Control Lab run by Prof. George Stelmach. During this time he broadened his research to include people with Parkinson’s disease and investigated goal directed actions. He also collaborated on research into nonlinear and time series analysis techniques as applied to psychological data, cognitive dynamics, and category learning. In 2003 Mitchell moved to the UK where he took up a position as Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich. Here he was responsible for the Cognitive Psychology teaching offered by the department of Psychology and Counselling, as well as continuing with his research interests. This extended to investigating factors that impact on verbal working memory. In 2009 Mitchell moved to Southern Cross University where he is further developing his program of research and teaching.
Spiral drawing performance as an indicator of fine motor function in people with multiple sclerosis (with Richard A. Heath), Human Movement Science (2006)
This study investigated spiral drawing performance as an indicator of fine motor function, as well...
Movement precues in planning and execution of aiming movements in Parkinson's disease (with Berta C. Leis, Miya K. Rand, Arend WA Van Gemmert, Jau S. Lou, and George E. Stelmach), Experimental Neurology (2005)
Two experiments tested how changing a planned movement affects movement initiation and execution in idiopathic...
Differential effects of target height and width on 2D pointing movement duration and kinematics (with Michael J. Bohan, Arend WA Van Gemmert, Miya K. Rand, and George E. Stelmach), Motor Control (2003)
This study examined the impact of target geometry on the trajectories of rapid pointing movements....
Discrete and dynamic scaling of the size of continuous graphic movements of parkinsonian patients and elderly controls (with Padma R. Mahant, Mark A. Stacy, Arend WA Van Gemmert, Berta C. Leis, and George E. Stelmach), Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (2003)
Objectives: To systematically investigate the ability of Parkinson's disease patients to discretely and dynamically scale...
The influence of motor system degradation on the control of handwriting movements: a dynamical systems analysis (with Richard A. Heath), Human Movement Science (2003)
The complex dynamics of the human hand/arm system need to be precisely controlled to produce...
A theoretical and empirical investigation of the performance and clinical diagnostic value of handwriting and other graphic skills, PhD thesis, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW (2000)
Space-time invariance in adult handwriting (Thesis), Honours thesis, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW (1994)
An examination of the evolution of the Stroop effect over time, Third year psychology thesis, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW (1993)
The Ponzo Illusion affects movement characteristics in memory guided target aiming movements (with Matthew Isaac), 15th International Graphonomics Society Conference (2011)
When performing aiming movements we are typically accurate even when features of a target or...
A comparison between phonological and semantic similarity: when SMELL helps BELL and ODOUR (with F J. Hunt), 25th Annual British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Conference (2008)
Category order effects: synonym and category members in mixed lists using backward and forward recall (with F J. Hunt), 25th Annual British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Conference (2008)
Spiral drawing as an indicator of fine motor function in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (with Richard A. Heath), Proceedings of the 12th Biennial Conference of the International Graphonomics Society (2005)